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AG Letitia James delivers settlement funds to CNY to prevent vaping

NYS Attorney General Letitia James, center, presents a ceremonial check to local elected officials June 18, 2024.
Holliday Moore
NYS Attorney General Letitia James, center, presents a ceremonial check to local elected officials June 18, 2024.

Central New York is receiving $4.7 million as part of a multi-state settlement with JUUL for its role in the vaping epidemic. Attorney General Letitia James stopped in Syracuse Tuesday to announce the funding, which will be split among the city school district, counties, and BOCES for education and prevention programs. She says despite their claims, a pod of JUUL contains more nicotine than an entire pack of cigarettes.

 “JUUL targeted young people with its ads all while down downplaying all of the harms associated with its product," James said. "JUUL took a page out of big tobacco's playbook, and that's why JUUL has to pay for all of its harms that it caused to young people. It ignited a nationwide public health crisis.” 

James says e-cigarette use among middle and high school students more than doubled after JUUL was first introduced in 2015. Almost one in four New York high school students reported vaping in 2020, but the rate has dropped slightly since then. Now, the Food and Drug Administration is reversing its ban on JUUL products. James says the agreement still holds the company accountable. 

“That's why this settlement is so critically important to ensure that they are not marketing to young people, and that they're not engaging in any promotional programs for individuals under the age of 35," James said. "We will monitor the situation and JUUL has a responsibility to report back to our office on an annual basis.”

James sued JUUL in 2019, and secured a $462 million multi-state settlement in April of last year. New York is receiving a $112 million share, which is being distributed to every county and BOCES program in the state.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at